Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:33 AM
xchrom (104,750 posts)
Mali: The Fastest Blowback Yet in This Disastrous War on Terror
Diabaly, 21 January 2013. ‘France is the last country to sort out Mali's problems, having created quite a few of them in the first place.' (Photograph: Arnaud Roin/ECPAD/EPA)
To listen to David Cameron's rhetoric this week, it could be 2001 all over again. Eleven years into the war on terror, it might have been Tony Blair speaking after 9/11. As the bloody siege of the part BP-operated In Amenas gas plant in Algeria came to an end, the British prime minister claimed, like George Bush and Blair before him, that the country faced an "existential" and "global threat" to "our interests and way of life".
While British RAF aircraft backed French military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali, and troops were reported to be on alert for deployment to the west African state, Cameron promised that a "generational struggle" would be pursued with "iron resolve". The fight over the new front in the terror war in North Africa and the Sahel region, he warned, could go on for decades.
So in austerity-blighted Britain, just as thousands of soldiers are being made redundant, while Barack Obama has declared that "a decade of war is now ending", armed intervention is being ratcheted up in yet another part of the Muslim world. Of course, it's French troops in action this time. But even in Britain the talk is of escalating drone attacks and special forces, and Cameron has refused to rule out troops on the ground.
You'd think the war on terror had been a huge success, the way the western powers keep at it, Groundhog Day-style. In reality, it has been a disastrous failure, even in its own terms – which is why the Obama administration felt it had to change its name to "overseas contingency operations", until US defence secretary Leon Panetta revived the old title this week.
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Mali: The Fastest Blowback Yet in This Disastrous War on Terror (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:46 AM
dipsydoodle (41,946 posts)
1. Its considered
that last week's attack on the gas plant took 2 months or more to plan. As such its not directly associated with the French going into Mali.
Its general blowback. I recall reading after 9/11 that life shouldn't be considered to safe again until at least 2030 so its early days yet.
Response to xchrom (Reply #2)
Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:14 AM
dipsydoodle (41,946 posts)
3. I agree
I've noticed that of late the Guardian now refers to them as "jihadists" as opposed to the all embracing boogieman al-qaeda which I generally consider to be a bit tragic. Extreme Islamists might be even better given this is not the world's Muslim community - that is at least a degree of separation.
Whilst I've no concept of the usual international suspects trying to take on what is more or less the whole of north Africa they might just be daft enough to try. Check it out on a map - its vast with a whole lot of Sahara desert included.